I was recently talking to a friend that had just returned from vacation. She told me how difficult it had been to really allow herself to just "be," to just relax. She felt pretty sure that she didn't know how to do this. She has been reading about present moment awareness and is learning different ways to try to do this, but when it came time to practice, it was difficult for her.
This got me thinking about how much we try to distract ourselves with activities and things to do so that we don't have to be with ourselves. We are so busy that we have to schedule time to just check in with ourselves to see what feels alive in us at that moment. This has been a chronic problem in our society for quite some time. It starts at a young age and just gradually gets worse. Even as babies, adults try to distract them away from being upset. Babies and young children cry, and an adult might say to them, "oh, you're okay." The distraction method begins then. I'm not really sure why people are so afraid of emotions. We are made to believe early on that showing emotion is somehow bothersome to others, or a sign of weakness. We sometimes try to make jokes instead of feeling our sadness or anger.
For me, I got to the point where I couldn't go on feeling depressed or anxious any longer and knew that something must change. I got into therapy (not just traditional talk therapy), learned that I actually HAD emotions, learned how to feel my emotions and attend to them, and I learned how to meditate. These things, combined with homeopathy have changed my life. I am able to see now how I had learned techniques that would distract me from myself! I learned that emotions are energy. If we allow ourselves to just feel them, they move through our bodies pretty quickly. I think in Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight, she stated that an emotion lasts about 90 seconds.
I really believe that if we are going to have schools, then the most important subject taught should be the emotional life of humans, allowing yourself to feel them, expressing them in a healthy way and being a listener when others are expressing their emotions. This would lead into the next subject, which would be relationships: how to have an honest and trusting relationship with another emotionally healthy person. Hmmm, maybe I need to start a program...
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